Biden to welcome Iraqi PM at White House
U.S. President Joe Biden will welcome Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi at the White House on Monday.

Kadhimi arrived in the United States late on Sunday to hold the fourth round of U.S.-Iraq strategic dialogue with Biden on Monday afternoon.
At the hear of the meeting will be the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and more broadly, whether the federal government has what it takes to stand up to residual Islamic State (ISIS) cells within the country’s borders.
ISIS remnants continue to carry out attacks against Iraqi security forces in several provinces, including Baghdad and Kirkuk.
Just last week, the militant group claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing at a Baghdad market that killed 30 people.
U.S. troops in Iraq have also been subject to repeat attacks by militia groups, that in turn suffered military reprisals launched by Washington.
There are currently 2,500 U.S. troops in Iraq focusing on countering ISIS remnants.
The Iraqi prime minister would like the United States to commit, at least formally, to a reassessment of its presence in Iraq, according to AFP.
With three months to go before legislative elections, the head of the Iraqi government is hoping to regain a bit of ground with his country’s powerful factions, which are overtly hostile to the U.S. presence, the news agency reported.
Iraq is an important strategic link for the United States, which leads the international coalition fighting the ISIS group next-door in Syria.
Abandoning Iraq to Iranian influence is out of the question for the United States, with Washington and Tehran mired in renewed tensions – even if Biden has signaled his readiness to return to the 2015 nuclear deal.
Kadhimi said in an interview with The Associated Press published on Saturday that his country no longer required foreign combat troops on its land.
“There is no need for any foreign combat forces on Iraqi soil,” Kadhimi said in an interview with AP ahead of a planned trip to Washington.
In the third round of talks in April, the United States agreed to remove remaining combat forces deployed to fight ISIS militants in Iraq.
The Iraqi prime minister said the security forces and army were capable of defending the country without U.S.-led coalition troops.
However, he said any withdrawal schedule would be based on the needs of Iraqi forces, who have shown themselves capable in the last year of conducting independent anti-ISIS missions.
“The war against ISIS and the readiness of our forces requires a special timetable, and this depends on the negotiations that we will conduct in Washington,” he added.
“What we want from the U.S. presence in Iraq is to support our forces in training and developing their efficiency and capabilities and in security cooperation,” he told AP.
A senior U.S. defense official said on Thursday that the U.S. and Iraq were expected to formalize the end of Washington’s combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year and continue the transition toward training and advising Iraqi forces, according to Reuters.
The official said there would be a focus on logistics, maintenance of equipment and helping Iraqi forces further develop their intelligence and surveillance capabilities.
“Iraq has a set of American weapons that need maintenance and training. We will ask the American side to continue to support our forces and develop our capabilities,” Kadhimi said.
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